Also known as the English or Redtick Coonhound, the American English Coonhound is renowned for its endurance, agility and speed as a hunting dog, and is especially popular in the South. These hounds are of medium build, weighing around 50 to 60 pounds (23 to 27 kg), with short, spotted (“ticked”) coats. They require a great deal of exercise and have a propensity to chase smaller animals (including cats), but can with proper training be excellent pets for families with older children, though they may lay claim to beds and sofas.
Should You Purchase Insurance for Your American English Coonhound?
These dogs are fairly healthy, usually living for around 12 years. Vets and owners report a number of health complaints with the breed:
- Hip dysplasia: these dogs may inherit a condition where the hipbone fails to fit correctly into the pelvis. Over time, wear and tear can cause these joints to become inflamed, resulting in pain and restricted movement. The condition can often be reversed with surgery. Owners are urged to ask breeders for confirmation that the hips of the parents are not affected, though this does not guarantee that puppies will not develop dysplasia.
- Hypothyroidism: this condition occurs when the dog’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in a lack of the necessary hormones that the thyroid produces. Symptoms include hair loss, skin problems, weight gain and lethargy. Blood analysis is used to confirm the presence of the disease; treatment involves daily administration of an artificial hormone to replace what the thyroid no longer produces.
- Otitis externa: the long, floppy ears of coonhounds impede the circulation of air and give rise to conditions that support the growth of bacteria and other parasites. Owners need to give careful, daily attention to keeping the ears clean and treating any infections immediately. Dogs with ear problems scratch and shake their heads and may emit a foul odor. Treatment involves deep cleaning of the infected area and administration of antibiotics.
Owning an American English Coonhound is a labor of love, since these dogs require a great deal of care and attention. Keeping floppy ears free of infection can be a substantial yearly expense, not to mention the high vet bills that treatment of conditions like hip dysplasia generate. Medical costs can, however, be managed with the purchase of the right pet health insurance plan, so that you can focus on keeping your hound healthy and happy without worrying about unforeseen financial burdens.